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Characteristics of open source projects

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3 Author(s)
Capiluppi, A. ; Dipt. Automatica e Informatica, Politecnico di Torino, Italy ; Lago, P. ; Morisio, Maurizio

Most empirical studies about Open Source (OS) projects or products are vertical and usually deal with the flagship, successful projects. There is a substantial lack of horizontal studies to shed light on the whole population of projects, including failures. This paper presents a horizontal study aimed at characterizing OS projects. We analyze a sample of around 400 projects from a popular OS project repository. Each project is characterized by a number of attributes. We analyze these attributes statically and over time. The main results show that few projects are capable of attracting a meaningful community of developers. The majority of projects is made by few (in many cases one) person with a very slow pace of evolution.

Published in:

Software Maintenance and Reengineering, 2003. Proceedings. Seventh European Conference on

Date of Conference:

26-28 March 2003